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China Attacks Dalai Lama in Online Burst

By ANDREW JACOBS,BEIJING, NY Times: As the Chinese government’s relationship with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, has gone from bad to worse over the years, Beijing’s propaganda machine has churned out increasingly florid descriptions of him. He has been called a “jackal,” a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and, routinely, a “splittist.”On Saturday, the state-run news media sought to equate the Dalai Lama, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, with the Nazis and their genocidal war on European Jews.

The commentary, posted on China Tibet Online and carried by the official Xinhua news agency, said the Dalai Lama was advocating policies that, if realized, would result in the expulsion of ethnic Han Chinese from traditionally Tibetan parts of the country. It also fired off other familiar accusations against him: that he is a puppet of the United States, that his relatives work for the C.I.A. and that his goal is to turn Tibet into a neo-feudal fief of slaves.

“The remarks of the Dalai Lama remind us of the cruel Nazis during the Second World War,” it said, adding, “How similar it is to the Holocaust committed by Hitler on the Jews!”

It also called him a “tricky liar skilled in double-dealing.”

The comments referred to past statements in which the Dalai Lama condemned policies that encouraged Han Chinese migration to Tibetan areas and others that favored Chinese-language instruction over Tibetan in predominately Tibetan schools.

The Chinese Communist Party has been struggling to contain an outbreak of street protests and self-immolations in traditionally Tibetan areas of three Chinese provinces. At least 29 people have set themselves on fire in the past year, and 22 have died.

Exile groups say that many of those protesters — most of them monks and nuns — shouted out the Dalai Lama’s name and called for his return to China as they were consumed by flames.

Although it has not provided any evidence, the Chinese government accuses the Dalai Lama of encouraging the suicides. He has described the protesters as heroes, and has blamed heavy-handed government policies for pushing them to sacrifice their lives. He has also said such protests would be likely to lead to more repressive measures.

The office of the Dalai Lama, in Dharamsala, India, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Tibetan activists reacted with incredulity. Tsering Tsomo, director of the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Dharamsala, said such statements diminished the Chinese government as it sought to play a greater diplomatic role in world affairs. “Many countries depend on Chinese cooperation on important issues, and this kind of behavior does not help their standing,” she said.

Published Date: Sunday, March 25th, 2012 | 04:11 AM

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